Fire rescue services in two of Rhode Island’s largest cities, Providence and Cranston, have been reorganized in response to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Friday afternoon.
Citing a flow of calls from people with flu-like symptoms, Cranston officials announced a restructuring that paves the way for two additional fire rescue units — a fifth unit that has already begun to operate, as well as a sixth unit that would begin operating next week.
In Providence, the city has established a coronavirus-dedicated unit, Rescue 5, with its own firehouse at the Reservoir Avenue station.
Cranston’s director of administration, Daniel O. Parrillo, said the city has seen a rise in rescue runs, compared with the number of runs in the previous year, since late February.
The city has had a fifth unit that was staffed part-time and deployed under special circumstances.